Belfast Telegraph

Wedding day murder accused and victim ‘had drink problems’

By Adrian Rutherford

This is the man accused of murdering his fiancee on the same day he was due to marry her.

Paul Stockman was remanded in custody yesterday after appearing in court charged with killing Patricia Bardon, his partner of five years.

Ms Bardon’s body was found at the south Belfast home she shared with the accused last Monday — which was also her 51st birthday.

The court heard that both the accused and the victim had alcohol problems.

Dressed in a blue T-shirt and with shoulder-length blonde hair and tattoos, Stockman, from Elm Court in the Donegall Pass area, spoke only to confirm he understood the charge.

During the brief hearing a detective constable said he believed he could connect the 53-year-old accused to the charge.

The cause of Ms Bardon’s death has still not been released, and no details of her injuries were revealed in court.

Defence solicitor Patrick Kelly said a bail application was not being made at this stage as no suitable address could be provided.

“The reason, quite frankly, is that the address at which the defendant and the deceased resided is now a crime scene and there is no suitable alternative address,” he said.

Mr Kelly said his client had denied the charge during a series of police interviews.

In answer to questions from Mr Kelly, the detective constable confirmed that police believed Stockman and Ms Bardon had been in a relationship for five years.

At the time of the alleged murder, the court heard, the couple were living together at the Elm Court property.

Asked if both the victim and the defendant had a dependency on alcohol, he replied: “Yes ... alcohol does seem to have been a problem with them.”

Police have described Ms Bardon’s death as a “terrible tragedy”.

Detective Chief Inspector John McVea, who is leading the murder investigation, said: “Patricia was found dead on the day of her birthday.

“It was also the day she was due to be married.”

It is understood Ms Bardon has two children by a first marriage and had lived in Australia before returning to Northern Ireland.

Ms Bardon’s neighbours, who are mostly pensioners, have expressed their “terrible shock” at the murder.

They described how she was often seen pruning the roses in the courtyard at the centre of the apartment complex.

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